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Hospital waiting times for operations (FOI)

Hospital waiting times for operations (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 23 November 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.

​​​Original Request

Please advise the waiting time for a gynaecologist appointment at the hospital and also hiatus hernia surgery.

Original Response

Waiting times from referral to first appointment will depend on the urgency determined through triage, the process by which referrals are sorted and prioritised by urgency. Similarly, surgical teams will determine the clinical priority for operative interventions. Information on referrals and triage, including the prioritisation of appointments, is available on in the following link:

Hospital waiting lists (​

Please note that patients who are assessed for ‘Urgent’ and ‘Soon’ appointments will have a shorter waiting time than the median (average) waiting times detailed below.

The median wait time for a first Gynaecology outpatient appointment is currently 11 weeks, and the median wait time for a Gynaecology surgical admission is currently 19 weeks. 

The median wait time for hiatus hernia surgery is currently 30.5 weeks.

Internal Review Request

The Freedom of Information (FOI) request seeking outpatient and surgical appointment waiting times was received by Health and Community Services (HCS) on 5 October 2023. A response was provided to the applicant on 23 November 2023.

Following receipt of the FOI response, the applicant requested an Internal Review on 27 November 2023 querying the accuracy of the Gynaecology Outpatient waiting time detail provided in the response.

The applicant contacted the Central FOI Unit to request an Internal Review, as follows:

“I have been waiting since June for a gynaecology appointment and this is very much over the 11 weeks and I still to this point have not even received an appointment.  I have had to wait for an extended time for this FOI and the information is factually incorrect and should be reviewed before it is posted on your website”

“My concern is with the information that you are providing as it is not accurate and recently Gorst also released a statement which predicted much shorter wait times and was clearly not true or accurate. Therefore I do think it does need to be investigated correctly because if this misinformation is being fed via public information then it is not correct or true. I can also assure you that my referral has been made because I phoned the appointments line and was told that they would only entertain priorities. That was 5 months ago coming up to six month and still not a peep.”

Internal Review Response

The Associate Managing Director for Improvement and Innovation, and the Head of Informatics were asked to undertake the Internal Review. Neither party had been involved in composing the original response. 

The Internal Review was coordinated and administered by the HCS FOI Officer, and took place at Jersey General Hospital on 22 December 2023. The in-scope FOI response and the Internal Review Procedure were shared with both reviewers on this day.

Both the Associate Managing Director for Improvement and Innovation, and the Head of Informatics were asked to consider whether:

  • the Freedom of Information request had been handled appropriately
  • the response to this request was accurate
  • it is possible to provide you with any further information, and 

They will also provide an outcome of the internal review by stating whether:

  • the original decision is upheld, or 
  • the original decision is reversed in part or in full, or 
  • the original decision is modified

Was the request handled appropriately?

On receipt of the original FOI request, information was sought from the team responsible for extracting and analysing waiting list data. This data was derived using established methodology and went through standard validation processes to assure accuracy, before being passed to the HCS FOI Officer for inclusion in the FOI response.

Following composition, the response was escalated to the relevant Director for review and approval.

Was the response accurate?

Upon receipt of the request to conduct an Internal Review, the methodology used to identify the Gynaecology Outpatient waiting list data was reviewed and was found to be sound. The Head of Informatics confirmed that live waiting list data was interrogated and found to be consistent with the waiting time provided in the original FOI response.

Is it possible to provide you with any further information?

Whilst it was noted that the original FOI response detailed that the average waiting time is representative of the median wait, it was felt that it would be helpful to provide a definition of ‘median wait’ and how this is calculated, as this is not communicated elsewhere.

The median wait is calculated by arranging each patient's waiting time in order, and then selecting the waiting time of the person at the mid-point of that order. Half of all patients on the list have been waiting less than the median wait time and half have been waiting longer than this.


It was agreed that HCS appropriately handled the original response and that the information contained therein was accurate. Therefore, the original decision is upheld, with the acknowledgement that the calculation used to provide average waits for appointments could be more clearly defined and communicated.​

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